Remembering Walter Becker

A personal reflection

Remembering Walter Becker

The first thing I saw when I looked at my phone this morning was that one of my musical heroes had died.

My heart sank!

Walter Becker, the brilliant songwriting, multi instrumentalist from US band Steely Dan had passed away at the age of 67.

Becker and his long time partner in crime Donald Fagen masterminded a string of great albums including their 1972 debut Can’t buy a Thrill, Aja, Gaucho and the 2001 Grammy winning album of the year, Two Against Nature.

His love of jazz, rock and reggae was often evident in Steely Dan’s music and the razor sharp wit of both he and Fagen always made for lyrics like no other band.

For so long known as studio perfectionists, Steely Dan suddenly became a regular touring band and were inducted, somewhat reluctantly into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Just when local Steely Dan fans thought we’d never see them live in our city, they rolled out one of the finest gigs to ever grace the Sandalford Winery stage.

Eerily that show was 10 years ago this week!

We got a second bite at the cherry in 2011 when "The Dan' and their incredible group of musicians played Challenge Stadium supported by British rock legend Steve Winwood.

Walter Becker also became a successful producer of other bands including British duo China Crisis, and Rickie Lee Jones, with whom he wrote the song Horses, later to become the signature song for Aussie Daryl Braithwaite.


Donald Fagen has said in a statement, Becker was;

“Smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter.He was cynical about human nature, including his own and hysterically funny.I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band”

Dean Clairs
Steely Dan fan since the late 70’s
Heading home now to put on the Gaucho album, the sound that always makes me feel so damn good. Thanks Walter…RIP